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GHAO

Leg 37: Keflavik (BIKF) to Shannon (EINN)

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Imagine my surprise on seeing my name on the departure board so soon! With an urgent call to HQ the CIA allow me a break from my current mission in the jungles of Borneo to fly this leg. I arrived yesterday at Keflavik Airport, the international gateway of Iceland, located on a peninsula on the south-west of the island. An ex-American Military base used in WWII to bomb Europe, Keflavik (with its 10,000ft runways) was found to be perfect to host the largest of jets. Whilst Reykjavik has an airport in the middle of town, it's 5,000ft runway is alas too short for anything other than 737s.

I turned up at the airport at dawn, hoping to see the famous North-Europe sunrise. I wasn't disappointed. My plane for the trip, a Boeing 757-200, was decked out in cargo form, and she was looking fine! ATIS was confident wind was calm, so I boarded and taxied out to runway 02.

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With permission to takeoff, I headed out into the frozen night. Flight time estimated at 1:54, with 700-odd miles to cover.

 

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Leaving Iceland, banking hard round to the right, on course heading 160.

 

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A hard climb as well...

 

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...and soon my plane is looking swamped by the clouds around it.

 

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But soon we're nearing 37,000ft.

 

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And still climbing into the inky sky.

 

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I don't normally show the wind speed, but when I do it's too high! I thought I would try to descend below it - nothing freaks me out more than an aircraft yawing round 5 degrees every few minutes, the warning system shrieking "WIND SHEAR, WIND SHEAR" at full volume.

 

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But the wind gets worse, and the plane is bouncing around. It might mean I get there faster, but I'd rather arrive in one piece, all bodily fluids firmly stowed inside me!

 

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I decide to try and out-climb the turbulence - but at 44,000ft I reach tailwind speeds of 92 knots! Bare in mind I've never dealt with anything worse than 36 :P

 

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Then the winds finally drop and I descend to a height where I can keep a constant speed on less than full throttle. An hour later, I see Ireland, home of the green.

 

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I removed Otto the Autopilot and deflated him, getting the stewardesses (both together) to stow him in the overhead lockers. Nothing's moved drastically except the cargo, and who cares about that? :P Taking control, I bank hard left to get in line for Shannon. I'm cleared through to land shortly after, it's been a slow morning there.

 

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Small problem though - I can't see the airport, and no-one's ever told me how to get the ILS-thingie to work properly! I hope my GPS is accurate and the clouds break sometime.

 

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I can just see it now, but the runway I'm cleared for is still obscured by a wonderfully high-definition cloud. Thankfully, the cloud is not infinitely long, and I only need a small correction to get back on course. Bet the tower was wondering what was happening!

 

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...and I'm safe on Irish soil. The baton is offloaded first, then the artfully-scattered fine china and porcelain ornaments. Someone tells me there might have been a Ming vase in there. I blame Otto and walk away :)

 

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P.S., the baton's attached to the top of the tailfin of that Aeroflot flight.

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Bravo George,

Superb screen shots, very atmospheric.

I like the addition of Otto, every aircraft should have one.

Looks like we are track for the home coming soon.

Cheers.

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Now thats what I call a windy day :stars: Spilled two drinks on that flight and they are very expensive :( Thanks for the ride along, well done. :thum:

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Great Flight Geroge..

 

Love those early morning climb out shots.. very moody...

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Lovely work mate! Gonna carry the baton after  you! 

 

Hope you grab that baton before it ends up in Sheremetyevo. :P

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Many thanks guys - REX is wokring wonders! And thank you for the Gaelic welcome, Hurricane... hadn't realised you were younger than me (waah :( ). Good luck Clem, bet you're pleased your leg is all overland :P And yes brett, drinks are expensive on cargo flights :P

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I know the flight engineer charged me a fortune. :D He told me you knew about the deal we made. Better get your cut. :whis:

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Good work, George - glad you got down in one piece! You're not alone on the ILS front - I practice still with the small aircraft, the big tubes are far too slippery for me...

Cheers - Dai. :cool:

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